Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is urging people to stop using “anti-animal language,” comparing phrases like “bring home the bacon” to homophobia and racism.
“Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it,” the organization said on social media.
PETA shared a list of examples of what it called “speciesism,” and along with its ideas for alternatives.
“Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language, phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for who they are and start ‘bringing home the bagels’ instead of the bacon,” PETA said.
PETA came under fire for its comparison of “speciesism” to racism and homophobia.
“PETA introduced me to the term “speciesism” today which 1) is not a thing and 2) diminishes the legitimacy of racism, sexism and classism that many still don’t quite recognize,” reads a tweet. “By all means, advocate for animals… but don’t co-opt those movements.”
“Racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTQ community are not pigs and cows. If you said “Bring home the bacon” to a pig he wouldn’t care because he’s a pig and doesn’t understand you,” reads another. “Actually eating him? That would offend him. Calling me the N-word? Totally different.”
Others said PETA was on the right track.
“I’m no PETA fan and my medical condition, like that of the Dali Lama, requires me to eat meat, but am a fan of strategic nonviolence and I actually like this nonviolent language,” reads a comment.
On Wednesday, PETA addressed its “haters,” telling them to “lighten up.”
“With so much negativity in the world, why not lighten up and use language in a way that encourages being kind to animals?” the organization tweeted. “To everyone else: add your own anti-speciesist phrases below! Curiosity thrilled the cat (not killed) Eat snow (not crow).”